For developing and commercialising an innovative, structured-illumination system for optical sectioning that enables real-time imaging to be obtained using standard microscope illumination.
Confocal microscopy allows high-resolution 3D imaging at a microscopic level. The technology has enabled biologists and researchers to capture the response of living cells to stimuli, leading to advancements in fields such as biomedical research and drug development.
This kind of imaging has traditionally been carried out using laser-based scanning confocal microscopes, which can be costly and difficult to use. The Aurox system uses structured-illumination and aperture correlation to create an imaging system so light-efficient that a laser is not needed: standard microscope illuminators or even LEDs can be used. The technology is sold as an add-on unit that can be attached to any standard optical microscope.
The approach lowers the cost of ownership when compared to typical laser-based confocal microscopes. As a result, the innovation has made 3D microscopy more accessible and affordable to individual researchers and smaller research facilities.
Aurox Ltd is a spin-off from the Scanning Optical Microscopy group at the University of Oxford. The company is based at Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, employing six people. Their product is marketed through two leading names in microscopy and imaging: Carl Zeiss Microscopy and Andor Technologies.